Balsamic Roasted Onions with Bulgur, Cinnamon & Pine Nuts April 20, 2010
The only upside to a rained out weekend was that it provided the perfect quiet Sunday to crank up the oven and roast some onions in balsamic vinegar, enveloping the whole apartment in a sweetness that kept me from doing other things and instead had me perched in the kitchen waiting for the timer to go off.
The halved onions, peeling back as they cook and becoming tender like I’ve never tasted before, were sweet and subtle when finished. Instead of the bite onions usually bring, these were flavorful but considerably muted by the reduced balsamic vinegar, making their caramelized slivers a perfect pairing for a cinnamon spiced bulgur salad. I found myself eating the slices of onions before even fixing the salad I’d set out to make. Something about the browned edges was too much to wait for.
I combined two different recipes to make the final bulgur salad: balsamic roasted onions and caramelized onions with bulgur. Both recipes are found in Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, a great cookbook that I’ve only in the past couple of weeks started to browse for inspiration.
Moosewood recommends serving the balsamic roasted onions on their own. They would be equally delicious in a savory crepe or as a filling in an omelet. I decided upon a bulgur salad after picking up a bag of bulgur on a whim in the grocery store, knowing only that it was one of the grains I should be eating more of.Together these two Moosewood recipes created a nutty and sweet salad with the always welcome crunch of pine nuts.
Balsamic Roasted Onions with Bulgur, Cinnamon and Pine nuts
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
4 Spanish onions, halved
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of butter (to make vegan, use olive oil or a non-dairy margarine)
1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 cup of bulgur
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. In a skillet melt the butter. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place the onions cut side down in an oven proof dish or casserole. Cover with balsamic-butter sauce.
4. Roast for 20 minutes, flip onions over, and baste with sauce surrounding each onion. Cook for another 20 minutes until the onions are tender and rising up in a spiral shape.
5. While onions roast, boil 2 cups of water and 1 cup of bulgur, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed which will be around 10-12 minutes. Set the bulgur aside until the onions are done.
6. Toss the cooked bulgur with slivers of the balsamic onions, cinnamon, a drizzle or two of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.